Flying Without a “Rutter”

Rutter’s The Lord is My Shepard is playing in the background on repeat since there’s this one phrase that I cannot seem to get right, because my brain doesn’t seem to keep the metronome going. I have a good enough accompanist that he’ll catch me no matter how many entrances I miss, but it is a career limiting move to show up to a solo without knowing how it goes. For the singers in the crowd, it’s the last one- “and thy…” There are several of you nodding. It’s ok. I’ll get it. Eventually. It’s on the and of wtf somewhere.

It’s a movement in the Rutter requiem. No, I didn’t pick it. I really didn’t. Joseph did. He said, “you can sing Pie Jesu if you want since you’ve done it before.” Yeah. I had to go with no on that one. Maybe later. Too soon. And it was ten years ago, capiche? For those of you just joining us, my abuser had me sing Pie Jesu with a community orchestra, and while I was singing, she just stared. Then, she got up in front of the choir and said that it was like watching her little girl grow up. Then, a few years later, her partner said that I read too much into it and it never really meant anything to her… and she could get away with saying it because my abuser wasn’t in the room. My suspicion is that the only reason she said it was to injure me. I certainly left that conversation with my tail between my legs from having my nose pushed in shit.

I have to keep remembering that these scenes in my head are in the past, and I can let go of them now. At the same time, it is the panic of losing those memories that stops me from moving on. In a way, though my blog has taken care of some of that, because they’re on the Internet, saved for posterity. I can go back and read them when I want, and if my computer crashes, I haven’t lost my stories, the things that make me, well, me.

It’s the pictures I’ll lose. It’s the feel of her hand on my freshly buzzed hair. It’s the way the air electrifies for me when she’s in a room. It’s watching her navigate every situation with unfailingly smartass humor. A part of me truly feels like it’s dying… and should. I don’t regret a moment of it, because I’ll never get that time back. To look back in anger is counterproductive.

And yet, sometimes I have to, because if I don’t, the big ball of rage will swallow every good feeling I’ve ever had, including the ones not about her. It clouds everything. Rage and anxiety rule the easiest when I need them the least. I would like to believe that writing it out, piece by piece, allows the ball of rage to live online instead of in my personality.

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